It's now officially as hot here in Seattle today as it was in Charleston weekend before last (well, minus humidity), so what better time for another installment of pics? Below here, at the house at Folly Beach, I had been sitting outside for about 45 seconds before sweat was *exploding* out of my headwhich I think you can make out here in this lovely picture. Meredith, one of my cousins, was not serving me swee-et tea, as you might expect, but was instead pretending to cut off my "hay-ed" with a little plastic sand tool.
It's called "Southern charm," and I was so charmed that I didn't even realize I would soon be dead from heat exhaustion. One of my favorite Meredith moments was witnessing her "Yes, ma'am" training, in which she would say merely "yes" in response to some question from a female relative, only to then be prompted, "'Yes, ma'am'?", which she would then repeat dutifully. Cute! (Sadly, I was never called "Mist-uh Pawl" on this trip by wee relatives, like last time. Meredith referred to me in the third person, usually, and even then as "that bo-eh.")
In downtown Charleston, you'll find the beautifully restored old market, where now instead of people being sold, people now sell a variety of t-shirts and other palmetto-themed tourist gift things.
Black people sell reed baskets sitting next to white people selling meticulously painted, little metal Confederate soldiers, and inside the main building of the old market
you'll find a Confederate museum run by the Daughters of the Confederacy, full of flags and guns and documents and a big cannon and even a lock of Robert E. Lee's hair. (And yes, for all you old school racists, that's the *first* national flag of the Confederacy flying out front. Word.)
I still can't imagine being black and being near a building where slaves were once sold, now selling my own palmetto-embossed magnetic notepads, w/o saying, "What… the *fuck*?" Anyway, I'm just a Yankee, despite my pedigree. So for that matter, I don't understand these either, the Confederate memorials in every single Southern town, big and small:
This one's in my dad's hometown of Orangeburg (pop 12,765), in the now depressed and dilapidated (post-integration) downtown. Here's the inscription:
I'm sure the context was different when the downtown "belonged" to whites, but now… why is it still there? Whose rights? Whose homes? Whose "hon-uh"? You'd think I'd have a better handle on this, from having so many Southern relatives, but no.
Yeah. Well. But did I mention how beautiful SC is? It is:
And if you're looking for a place to pray while you're staying in Orangeburg, don't despair. Just check the hotel guide (and Four Holes Swamp Baptist? Yes, that's where my grandfather preached):